Explore the most popular birding trails in Willamette National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Boca Cave is spectacular. When you get close to the top of Triangulation Peak, the trail splits. Right up to the summit and left to the cave. Path descends on rocky ground to cave but is doable. Rocky, wet scramble into cave. Don’t miss the framed view of Jefferson.

hiking
17 hours ago

Great place. Amazing weather for Mid-November. Simple but so beautiful.

Nice, steady and never steep climb. Some downfall but not too bad. Interesting burn area and talus slopes (on occasion). Marion Lake peninsula is stunning. Great views of Jefferson and Jack from summit of Marion Mountain. Loop to see whole area. Amazing place to spend a November sunny day with no crowds.

Foggy, narrow trail, and I couldn't locate the cave.

One of my favorite hikes in Oregon that often gets overlooked. The view from the top is always worth it. Easy hike, well maintained trail and dog friendly.

We hiked with our two dogs to the peak of the Triangulation Tr. to get the most beautiful 360 panoramic view! From there we hiked down into Boca Cave to see Mt Jefferson through the eye of the Cave. Photos do not do the view and experience justice.

Phenomenal! The peak is definitely worth it, and Boca Cave is easy to find and really cool. Hike up is a bit brushy, not to difficult.

Very pretty, starting to get snow now though

Great place to hike! Restrooms available. Lots of water scenes, waterfalls, and forrest to explore. Flat and easy marked trails. Dog friendly as well.

Sweet trail, pretty easy, and theres a super cool helicopter pad and lookout at the top! Amazing drive to the trailhead too.

hiking
8 days ago

Very easy long hike with a beautiful bridge and view at the halfway point. Cool mine town place also. long drive to get there though from salem area.

Really easy summit hike and great to see both the cave and the peak at the top! Great camp spot up there too. NOTE: when going to the cave you will go through a burned forest area and the trail is relatively difficult to follow so keep your eyes peeled. It's a scramble with lots of loose rock, but doable if careful

hiking
8 days ago

Trail is well marked. Getting there was relatively easy. Steady climb all the way to the top. Took me two hours to summit, and there was some snow at the very top. Great views, would highly recommend.

Amazing views. Idk about that 2.2 miles though. The loop took us awhile and we move at a decent pace.

Basically, the right side is a trail and the left is a road. Look up some good directions online. Get there early. The rock slide isn't marked so you have to watch for it.

Helpful Hints **
The directions off of here were wrong when I plugged it in. It took me to a gated off forest road. Just type in the trailhead on google and it'll take you to the right place.
The cave won't be hard to find if you know what to look for (I didn't, but eventually found it.) There's an obvious trail that y's off to the left by the summit. Follow that till you get to another viewpoint, and you'll see the burn area. Don't walk down into the burn. Walk along as close to the rock as you can and there's a small trail that dips to the left and goes down, and hooks left right along the cliff wall. The cave faces Jefferson on the cliff wall of the viewpoint you passed walking towards the burn. It's right underneath it really. kind of hard to explain, hope that helps.

My dog and I LOVED this trail.

backpacking
19 days ago

It only seems like a quick little out n back.

6.4 mi if you're just gonna take a mellow walk to one of Oregon's smallest towns with a population of less than 20--though they do have their own hydroelectric power plant, a lodge, and cool little cabins.

So if you want a flat n easy 3.2 out, 3.2 back with some decent swimming holes here in there, go for it: anyone can make it. It's a flat and easy gravel road through some nice old growth that's as mellow on the feet as fat aunt Sharon's orthotics.

Start venturing off the trail, however, and you'll begin to find remnants and massive machinery from over a century ago when it was an active mining community. There are enormous boilers and hulking gear-and-pulley systems from times before there was power in the area. Many (giant) pieces of machinery were run from high-pressure steam systems, not to mention and gravity-fed mining hydro-systems. You'll find a little of this if you poke around off the main trail, but the hikes that aren't listed here are the ones that start at Jawbone Flats--and they offer some amazing glances back at a time and way of life long-forgotten.

Head east past the town, follow a spooky old sign pointing to the mines, and you'll find yourself on an amazing dark old growth over-canyon trail for a mile or two with remnants of old train tracks, machinery, and things you'd expect to see in grainy black-and-white Ken Burns photo-montages.

There are other cool creek trails with roots and medium-easy footing challenges south past the trail to the Opal Pools. if you want to explore some pleasantly deserted creek trails (with a decent spot or two to camp if you can handle some spots of tricky footing with your pack and gear).

But if you make it to the mines and start exploring in earnest, you'll discover that the trail didn't always end there. Find the remnants of a gigantic bridge and structure that probably washed away 50 years ago and you'll start finding things: like a trail that can connect you with the Bull of the Woods systems.

Moreover, not all of the mines are barred-off and closed. Make the dog-leg to the Ruth mine a little longer before you head-back on the upper trail a bit longer, and explore to the east, and maybe try-out the remnants of a road or two that looks like it hasn't been walked/used in 30 years, and you might find things. Also, look up/explore the canyon if you find the leftovers of a 15-ft wide bridge (and be careful on the rocks/over the stream--no one will be coming by if you make an error).

Anyway, it's an easy and popular hike if you like it easy, but if you're a bushwhacker's bushwhacker and have some time to explore and hop a stream or two, there are things to be found in the Opal Creek wilderness. And exercise caution if you poke-around: you'll often be the only one around for miles if you find something cool, and some of then old stream crossings/bridges are tenuous. Moreover, the navigation of trails that suffered a washout or haven't been maintained since the last century can be a challenge. And also a reward.

Beautiful hike. Great trail to hike on. Wish it was marked better. Saw all the falls but didn’t know which ones they were. Jaw bone flats was really cool. Would I do this hike again.. probably not.

hiking
23 days ago

Easy little stroll through the woods till you arrive at opal creek

GPS had us on the wrong road to a locked logging road. Definitely take 2233 approach to the trailhead. The gravel section was brief and not too bad. Gorgeous views at the top of triangulation peak! Boca cave was MASSIVE. Really enjoyed the burned out beauty. The approach to the cave could be pretty difficult for some. my poles came in handy. Highly recommend.

a basic forest trail that leads to beautiful views. definitely fire damage that was pretty in its own way. Boca cave was spectacular, and much bigger than expected. I think our mileage was about 4.6 miles.

backpacking
27 days ago

WOW! Great little hike! Took about 45 minutes to get to the top at a rather consistent medium pace with a break. The trail is not well maintained, and the trailhead can be difficult to locate. Overall the view and fire lookout is amazing!

loved it

Stunning foliage and beautiful views. Elevation gain is steady and moderate. Water and Mountain View’s throughout. One of my faves.

hiking
29 days ago

Last couple miles are overgrown, but the hike alongside the mountains is beautiful!

29 days ago

7.8 mi and 3000 ft of gain. Great views of Jefferson but you work for them. After the first 1.5 miles you are walking on small ankle turning rocks. Great foliage and I recommend as a fall hike. You are exposed to full sun during the last mile or so. Breitenbush is lovely with small creek crossings and every shade of green.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this day hike it. I did it on 10/15/18. Beautiful fall colors. I will do this day hike again.

Pretty steep most of the way up. Beautiful views of mount Jefferson at the top. Be aware there is a lot of damaged area from wildfires.

This is a beautiful hike and can be family/dog friendly. The water is SO blue and both waterfalls are absolutely stunning. Sahalie falls is very easy to access and it’s a short walk from the parking lot. The fall colors were in full effect when I did this hike & it’s beautiful. The hike itself is mostly flat.

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